Houston Ship Channel News

07 Nov 2019

Energy Transfer: VLCC Offshore Port to be Ready Early 2023

AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Energy Transfer LP said on Thursday discussions with potential shippers to build an offshore crude export facility in Texas capable of handling supertankers were progressing on schedule, with the project expected to be in service by late 2022 or early 2023.The company has also made advances on the regulatory and permitting process for the project, Marshall McCrea, Energy Transfer's chief commercial officer, said on the company's quarterly earnings call.Plans call for the facility to be connected to Energy Transfer's Nederland…

30 Oct 2019

CSB: Chemical Leak Caused Fire at ITC Houston Terminal

The Houston, Texas Refining Complex (Credit: AdobeStock / © Irina K

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said on Wednesday that a fuel leak, possibly due to open valves and a running pump, set off a massive blaze at a Mitsui & Co Ltd petrochemical storage operation along the Houston Ship Channel in March.The fire that began on March 17 at Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) spread black smoke across Houston, shut the nearby ship channel, slowed production at local oil refineries and closed roadways and schools as it spread from one giant storage…

28 Oct 2019

Aalund Named International Propeller Club's President

Niels Aalund, President, International Propeller Club

Niels Aalund was elected at the 93rd International Convention and Conference in New Orleans on October 17th.New Orleans, LA: Prominent maritime industry stakeholder Niels Aalund has been elected President of the International Propeller Club. Mr. Aalund will serve a two-year term, commencing from October 17th. Aalund, a well-known maritime subject matter expert and executive, currently serves as an Officer and as Senior Vice-President of the West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA).

12 Sep 2019

USCG Shuts Upper Houston Ship Channel Amid Protests

The U.S. Coast Guard closed the upper Houston Ship Channel on Thursday morning as 11 Greenpeace USA protesters blocked a portion of the country's largest oil port near Baytown, Texas, the agency said.The channel is closed from Light 102A to Light 104, the Coast Guard said in a notice.The closure of the Ship Channel at that location blocks tanker ship traffic to and from five major refineries in the Houston area, including Exxon Mobil Corp's 560,500-barrel-per-day refinery in Baytown, which is 26 miles (42 km) east of downtown Houston.One ship was waiting to enter the Ship Channel, which links the Gulf of Mexico and the Port of Houston…

16 Aug 2019

Kinder Morgan Invest $170Mln in Houston Ship Channel

Image: Kinder Morgan

Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan (KMI) plans to invest $170 million in various expansion projects along the Houston Ship Channel.The investment will increase efficiency, add product liquidity, and enhance blending capabilities at its Pasadena and Galena Park terminals, part of its best-in-class refined products storage hub on the Houston Ship Channel, said the energy infrastructure company in North America.In response to growing customer demand, KMI’s liquids terminal platform now boasts 10 ship docks…

04 Aug 2019

Port Houston Box Volume Up 12%

Pic: Port Houston

Container volume at Port Houston surged in the first half of 2019, rising 12 percent compared to that period last year. According to the Executive Director Roger Guenther the port facilities have handled nearly 1.5 Million TEU through the first half of 2019.The Houston ship channel also said in a press release that , the Port Commission awarded a contract not to exceed $39.7 million to Archer Western Construction, the top-ranked proposer among four finalists. A total of 53 companies…

31 Jul 2019

Enterprise Products to Build GoM Crude Terminal

File Image: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Enterprise Products Partners LP said on Wednesday it expects to take about two years to construct its oil export project called Sea Port Oil Terminal, or SPOT, in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.Permitting for the terminal was expected to reach the final stages by the end of the first quarter of 2020 and final approval was expected during the second quarter, a company executive said on its second quarter earnings call.Enterprise Products signed long-term agreements with Chevron Corp to support the development of SPOT…

31 Jul 2019

Fire Erupts at Exxon's Baytown complex; 37 Hurt

An aerial view of the houston Refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Exxon Mobil Corp said it was fighting a fire that erupted on Wednesday at its Baytown, Texas, refining and chemical plant complex injuring 37 people and sending nearby residents indoors.As many as 37 people were being treated for non-life threatening injuries amid efforts to put out the fire, according to Exxon spokeswoman Sarah Nordin. Available air monitoring information showed "no adverse impact at this time," she said.More than three dozen people were treated for minor burns, none requiring hospitalization, said plant manager Jason Duncan in an afternoon media briefing.

25 Jul 2019

Kirby Announces 2019 Q2 Financials

File Image of a Kirby inland asset underway and working. CREDIT Kirby

Kirby Corporation (“Kirby”) (NYSE: KEX) has announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 of $47.3 million, or $0.79 per share, compared with earnings of $28.6 million, or $0.48 per share, for the 2018 second quarter. Excluding a one-time charge related to the retirement of Kirby’s Executive Chairman, 2018 second quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $46.8 million, or $0.78 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 second quarter were $771.0 million compared with $802.7 million reported for the 2018 second quarter.David Grzebinski…

24 May 2019

U.S. LPG Gas Exports Up in Q1

Image: Dorian LPG

North American liquefied petroleum gas  (LPG) export capacity is forecast to grow considerably over the next two years, said Dorian LPG.According to the LPG shipping company, bolstered by additional volumes out of Marcus Hook in the northeast U.S. due to the startup of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, U.S. exports reached their highest levels for the first calendar quarter of 2019 in January with over 3 million metric tons of LPG exported during the month.However, significant reductions in U.S.

19 May 2019

VLGC Freight Rates Recover

Pic: BW LPG

The Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) freight rates started to recover towards the end of the first quarter as U.S. consumption reverted to seasonally lower levels pushing U.S. LPG prices down, widening the geographical LPG price arbitrage between the U.S. and the Far East.According to BW LPG, the owner and operator of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) vessels,  the recovery in VLGC freight rates was further strengthened by two occasions of fog and a temporary closure of the Houston Ship…

15 May 2019

Houston Ship Channel Reopens to Two-Way Traffic

The Houston Ship Channel reopened on Wednesday to two-way traffic after salvage crews removed two gasoline barges damaged in a weekend collision with a deep-draft vessel, officials said.About 11,280 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, after a 755-foot (230-metre) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.The removal of the Kirby Corp-operated barges was completed by midday on Wednesday and two-way traffic resumed, according to Bayport Channel Collision Response, a group overseeing cleanup and salvage operations.Officials decided on Wednesday to tow away a capsized barge instead of draining its tanks of fuel, speeding up the reopening by at least two days.A U.S.

15 May 2019

Houston Ship Channel Could Reopen Wednesday

Salvage crews on Wednesday began removing two gasoline barges damaged in a weekend collision with a deep-draft vessel that restricted traffic in the Houston Ship Channel, officials said.The removal of the Kirby Corp-operated barges could be completed by midday Wednesday, according to the Bayport Channel Collision Response, a group overseeing cleanup and salvage operations. (Reporting by Collin Eaton; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

14 May 2019

Houston Ship Channel Bottleneck Finally Eases

AdobeStock / © Irina K

A bottleneck of inbound traffic on the Houston Ship Channel eased on Tuesday though one-way travel restrictions remained following a weekend collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge, officials said on Tuesday.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-meter) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.West Texas Intermediate crude at the Magellan East Houston (MEH) terminal on the ship channel traded at an $8.10 a barrel premium to U.S.

14 May 2019

Houston Port Restrictions Could Last All Week

A file image of a typical Kirby pushboat and barge. CREDIT: Kirby Corporation

The Houston Ship Channel could remain under one-way travel restrictions all week following a collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway, according to an official.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-m) tanker collided with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel. One barge ruptured and the other capsized.The U.S. Coast Guard limited travel to one-way traffic because barges blocked part of the channel.

13 May 2019

USCG: Houston Ship Channel Moving Inbound Only

An aerial image of the houston Ship Channel and adjacent refining complex (AdobeStock / ©  Irina K

Shipping along the Houston Ship Channel was limited to one-way traffic on Monday after a barge collided with a deep-draft ship that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway over the weekend, officials said.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-m) tanker collided with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel. One barge ruptured and the other capsized. The one-way traffic limitation is due to the barges blocking part of the channel.

13 May 2019

Ships now moving inbound on Houston Ship Channel

Ships are moving inbound on Monday morning along the Houston Ship Channel after a Friday collision between a barge and deep-draft ship that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway closed ship traffic in both directions, the U.S. Coast Guard said.The Coast Guard did not have immediately available the number of vessels waiting to enter and exit the Channel on Monday morning. Ships started moving outbound on Sunday. Barges along the channel can move into both directions, the Coast Guard said.One barge was severely damaged and another capsized following a collision with a 755-foot (230-m) tanker in the Ship Channel near Bayport, Texas, that spilled at least 9…

02 May 2019

Kirby Posts 2019 Q1 Results

David Grzebinski, Kirby’s President and Chief Executive Officer

Kirby Corporation announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 of $44.3 million, or $0.74 per share, compared with earnings of $32.5 million, or $0.54 per share, for the 2018 first quarter. Excluding certain one-time charges, 2018 first quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $37.9 million, or $0.63 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 first quarter were $744.6 million compared with $741.7 million reported for the 2018 first quarter.David Grzebinski…

15 Apr 2019

Houston Widens Ship Channel

Image: Port of Houston Authority

The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority has decided to accelerate widening of the Houston Ship Channel, the nation’s busiest waterway.The Port Authority is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other representatives of the federal government, as well as Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel stakeholders, to obtain authorization and accelerated funding and completion, of a deepened and widened ship channel.“The Houston Ship Channel is open for business for all and will continue to be…

28 Mar 2019

Tanker Bottleneck Eases for Port of Houston

The sprawling Houston area refining complex adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Four tankers on Thursday were preparing to offload or pick up cargoes in the busiest U.S. oil port, the first signs of an easing of the bottleneck that cut 1 million barrels per day of shipments, according to vessel tracking data.The Houston Ship Channel reopened this week with operating restrictions following a fire at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) in Deer Park, Texas. That blaze sent fuel and chemicals into the waterway, which connects Houston to the…

28 Mar 2019

Trafigura Sends More Asian Gasoline to Americas

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill)

Commodity trader Trafigura is shipping this month a second newly built crude tanker with Asian gasoline onboard to South America amid strong demand in the West, four industry sources who closely monitor petrol trade flows said on Thursday.Although it is not uncommon for traders to use a brand new crude tanker of 150,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) to ship clean fuels such as diesel, it is rare to use them for gasoline because of the sheer size."South America likely needs gasoline more than gasoil now.

26 Mar 2019

USCG: Limited Opening of San Jac River Announced

The port of Houston Refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K

The USCG Captain of the Port has updated vessel traffic coordination directives. Facility cargo operations as of March 25, 2019 include Limited Opening of the San Jacinto River during Daylight Hours and Resumption of Cargo Operations.This MSIB is issued in regard to vessel traffic and facility cargo operations as a result of the chemical fire at ITC Deer Park in the Upper Houston Ship Channel (HSC).As of March 25th, 2019, the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) has opened the San Jacinto River to allow for vessel traffic during daylight hours only.

25 Mar 2019

TX Refineries Cut Output as Spill Curbs Shipping

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and LyondellBasell Industries cut production on Monday at their Houston-area oil refineries because of shipping disruptions along a waterway affected by a petrochemical fire and spill, according to people familiar with the matter.A fire and fuel leak at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) storage facility in Deer Park, Texas, last week sent gasoline, water and fire suppressant foam into the Houston Ship Channel, which connects Houston to the Gulf of Mexico, and is home to nine oil refineries.The U.S. Coast Guard said it was reopening portions of the channel to daytime travel and requiring vessels moving out of the area nearest ITC to be inspected for chemical contaminates.Houston Pilots…

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